The Long Night
Reviewed by Pnina Moed Kass
As so many of us are, I am distanced from the experiences in this memoir. Circumstances have turned my reading of this harrowing personal experience into the reading of an historical document. This journal is the literary equivalent of cinema vérité; unvarnished close-ups, insightful panoramic views - the word-camera of an eighteen year-old who survived seven concentration camps.
This is difficult reading and for many of us in Israel, it is a story painfully familiar. Originally written in German shortly after the war, the author's acutely accurate reporting of details renders this a compelling narrative. Bornstein became a dentist and returned to live and practice in Munich, Germany. Never would he forget those who died or the places of their death. He was instrumental in the erection of memorials and cemeteries. "On 30 April 1945 our freedom was restored to us . . . the camps still hold me prisoner."
For any reader, this survivor's testimony, stark and horrific, will echo for a long time and may also spark a grateful acceptance of life.